TOLEDO, Ohio – Facing an FBS opponent that was selected to win its league, the Elon University football team dropped its 2017 season opener at Toledo by a 47-13 margin on Thursday, Aug. 31.
Quotable: “I think we fought. Guys fought til the very end. Our defense, with their backs against the wall, really fought hard. They (Toledo) have some really great skill players outside. If we give this kind of effort, we’re going to improve as a football team and we’re going to celebrate in the locker room this year.” – head coach Curt Cignetti.
How it happened: After forcing an Elon punt and starting its first drive of the year near midfield, Toledo grabbed a 3-0 lead on a 28-yard field goal off the foot of Jameson Vest with 9:54 to go in the first quarter. The Rockets extended the lead on its next drive, going 70 yards in just two plays as Logan Woodside connected with Diontae Johnson for 69 yards before Terry Swanson carried it in on the next play. Toledo would lead 13-0 following the first quarter.
After the Rockets extended the lead to 16-0, Elon was forced to punt. On the kick, the bouncing ball hit a Toledo player and was recovered by Efrim Borders. A Brelynd Cyphers third-down run moved the chains and got the Phoenix to the Toledo 25-yard line. Two plays later, De’Sean McNair carried the ball to the nine to give Elon a first-and-goal. On the next play, Cyphers dashed up the middle and went nearly untouched into the end zone for the score. Owen Johnson tacked on the PAT to make it a 16-7 game with 4:33 left in the first half. The Rockets added a fourth field goal and led 19-7 at the break.
Toledo quickly added to its lead in the third quarter as Johnson returned the kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown to make it 26-7. A pair of touchdown runs later in the period made it a 40-7 game.
Malcolm Summers capped a seven-play drive with a one-yard touchdown with 9:47 to go in the fourth quarter. The drive began at the Elon 47 with Jalen Greene connecting with Matt Foster for 25 yards. Summers carried on the final four plays of the drive, gaining 28 yards.
The Rockets would add one final score late in the fourth quarter.
Elon – Brelynd Cyphers (20 carries, 69 yards, 1 TD)
Toledo – Shakif Seymour (11 carries, 102 yards, 1 TD)
Elon – Jalen Greene (1-3, 25 yards)
Toledo – Logan Woodside (19-31, 314 yards)
Elon – Kortez Weeks (2 receptions, 22 yards)
Toledo – Cody Thompson (5 receptions, 112 yards)
Elon – Chris Blair (11 tackles, 1 PBU)
Toledo – Jack Linch (6 tackles)
Noteworthy: Eight true freshmen played for Elon… Chris Blair posted double-digit tackles for the 13th time in his career, while Warren Messer did so for the fourth time in his career… This was Elon’s first game against Toledo and a member of the MAC… Toledo quarterback Logan Woodside saw his streak of games with a touchdown pass snapped at 12.
Up Next: Elon will remain on the road next week when the maroon and gold visits Furman for a 1 p.m. game in Greenville, S.C.